After being sentenced to prison for 70 months in 2009 for cocaine possession with the intent to distribute, Philly artist Jesse Krimes found a very interesting way to pass the time. Using bedsheets, hair gel, colored pencils, and stacks of the New York Times, Krimes began slowly transferring images to create a collage-style work as "a meditation on heaven, hell, sin, redemption, celebrity worship, deprivation and the nature of perceived reality."
Entitled Apokaluptein:16389067, Krimes' mural was created in sections and mailed home with the help of the prison staff, so technically it was smuggled out. To get the materials he needed, the artist sold portraits and tattoo designs. Each image transfer took 30 minutes (multiply by thousands) and including ads from J. Crew, MoMA, Christie's, various other fashion editorials, and lots of photos from news stories. After three years, all 39 of the mural's panels were complete, but the artist did not see them together until after his release from the institution. Of the process and the piece, Krimes says: "Doing this was a way to fight back...the system is designed to make you into a criminal and make you conform. I beat the system."
For more information about this epic mural and about Jesse Krimes, visit his website here.
[via Prison Photography]